Did Jesus have to be punished for our sin?

One of the push back arguments against Penal Substitution is that it is making God dependent upon something. Why should we say that God “has to punish sin.” God does not have to do anything at all, he is sovereign isn’t he? The accusation here is that Penal Substitution would compromise God’s aseity. God is compelled to act.

It’s a little bit ironic that when you look at those who have aligned themselves against penal substitution that they also tend to be suspicious of classical theism criticising concepts like aseity and impassibility, seeing them as going against a loving God. There’s a leaning towards Open Theism and the God who suffers. Continue reading

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Does Penal Substitution make the rest of Jesus’ life meaningless?

There’s been a long running accusation against Evangelicals that goes something like this.

1. The focus on Jesus dying in our place so we can be forgiven and go to heaven makes the rest of Jesus’ ministry pointless. It means his life was just a build up to the real event – The Cross.

2. Christians who believe that Jesus died to take the penalty so they can have eternal life have very little interest in what happens in this life. They are purely interested in what happens after death. This also means that they have little motivation to change. They might as well do what they want now because they are saved by grace. Continue reading

Moving On

Over the past fortnight we’ve seen (at least) two major debates blow up on social media , one about doctrine and the other about practice resulting from public statements made by prominent Christians.

The general structure of those debates tends to follow the following lines:

  1. There is an initial emotive reaction – this might be positive, negative or both at the same time.
  2. This is followed by some people attempting a thoughtful critique of the issues involved
  3. More debate and discussion follows. Those who critique and disagree with the original statement are sometimes accused of being churlish, pedantic, unloving. In turn, the supporters are told they are naïve (sometimes both of those charges have a level of truth – but not always).
  4. Somewhere along the line the message goes out that we are meant to shut up and move on. This particularly comes from those who wanted to be generous.

Continue reading

Dave’s Reading List – God, Love and Sacrifice

Bishop Michael Curry’s sermon at the Royal Wedding opened up a whole conversation about  what God is like, what it means to say that God is Love, what love is and why exactly Jesus came -is it enough simply to say that his death was sacrificial? What does this mean, was it simply an example, a demonstration of love or something more? Continue reading

God doesn’t need me to change his mind – and that’s a good thing

Remember that age old question about whether or not God ever changes his mind and the case study of Abraham interceding for Sodom and Gomorrah/ Lot? Well it came up during our fantastic and lively Faithroots Live session yesterday.

The assumption is that God plans to wipe out the city and this means Lot, Abraham’s nephew will be killed. This moves Abraham to intercede for Lot and the result is that his life is saved. Continue reading

The Word Became Flesh our next Faithroots Live event

Our next Faithroots Live day is on Saturday 19th May. The day will run from 9:30am -2pm with tea and coffee provided. There’ll be a lunch break so please bring a packed lunch. We are also providing breakfast for those who book in and request it (please use the contact form below).

 The Theme is “The Word Became Flesh”

 Our focus will be on John’s Gospel and we will be thinking about the Doctrine of the Trinity and what it means to call God “Father” and to say that Jesus is “God the Son.” This area of faith is so important for two reasons. First because it is where we are often challenged by other faiths and which we can find difficult. Secondly because it is central and foundational to what we believe about God and should be a great source of encouragement and a prompt for awe and worship. Continue reading

“The Word Became Flesh”Faithroots Live 19th May

Our next Faithroots Live Day is on the 19th May. This time we will be exploring the following wonderful themes:

          Why I can call God “Father”

          Who is Jesus – his divine identity

          Why did God the Son come to earth?

          How can I know that God really is Love? Continue reading